A lot is said about how today’s youth are forgetting their roots and forsaking their customs in favour of more Western rituals. This lovely couple showed us that young people are indeed still very proud of their customs, with their stunning traditional wedding .
Umakoti’s wedding attire holds a lot of cultural significance and marks her transition from girlhood to womanhood. The black Qhiya on her head is a sign of respect for her elders, as a married woman has to cover her head. A bride’s face must also be covered with beads or a cloth to show that she is making the transition.
Zizo also wore an Umbhaco, a long skirt worn to cover the legs, as a married woman is not permitted to show her knees. Ibhayi is a cloth that covers the shoulders and the upper part of the bride’s arms as a sign of respect. After the ceremony, the bride will usually be given a new name by her in-laws.
The couple started with a lavish white wedding at St Saviour’s Anglican Church in East London. Both weddings were attended by South Africa’s elite, including Malusi Gigaba, Khaya Dlanga, Akhumzi Jezile, Lupi Ngcayisa, Shaka Sisulu and Ndumiso Lindi.